In the small village of Villingen, Hesse-Darmstadt, 40 km NE of Frankfurt, Konrad Stiehler was born 11 June 1837 to Johann Stiehler and his wife Juliane Bender. Johann as born in the same village in 1798. When Conrad was 17, he left for New York.
During the latter part of 1859, Gertrude Frank from Wettges, Hesse-Cassel and her three grown children, Margarethe (21), Heinrich (19) and Katharina (15), set out to Bremen to find a ship to take them to America. They arrived in the Port of New Orleans aboard the Heinrich Von Gagern 24 Oct. 1859. Where the family was for the next few years is unknown, but Katharina made her way North to eventually meet Konrad Stiehler. Although Wettges and Villingen are less than 30 km apart, it is unlikely they even heard of the other’s village, and certainly not their names. But once they spoke and heard the very familiar dialect, they would have been reminded of home.
Konrad and Katharina married in 1864, probably in one of the many German language churches in the area around Middle Village in Queens County. There they started their family until they acquired the 90-acre farm on Springfield Road in Fosters Meadow around 1875. Konrad was active in and became a Trustee of St Paul German Presbyterian Church and continued to farm with his sons until he suffered from a protracted illness and died at Jamaica Hospital 26 Oct. 1901. Katharina sold the farm in 1922. She died 18 Mar. 1922. Konrad and Katharina are buried at St Paul Cemetery. They had nine children.
Submitted by Paul Hoffman, with family
input from Nancy Stiehler Thurston